Friday, May 21, 2010

Ready to Buy a Minnesota Lakeshore HOME? But How Safe is the Water?



A lakeshore home is the ideal of many a Minnesotan! And why not? When you live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, one would be hard pressed not to drive by a lake, pond or river on a daily basis. Whether you are in Anoka, Ramsey, Chisago, Washington, Hennepin or any other county in our great state lakeshore is a plentiful and beautiful.

On an almost daily basis there is a news report regarding one of our wonderfully wet natural resources. Unfortunately, some of the news is not always so great: Eurasian milfoil, mercury in the fish and polluted waters are just a few of the concerns. Even those who live in the city are being asked to prevent grass clippings from going into the street and sewer systems as the chemicals that make our lawns so beautifully green, go through the storm drains and into our lakes. So how do you know if the sparkling pristine blue water of that Minnesota lakehome you want to buy is as clean as it looks?

As a REALTOR® working in the north and east Twin Cities metro, I do get asked questions regarding the quality of our lakes. After buyers are dazzled by the view of a lakeshore sunset, they want to know about water quality before they sign a purchase agreement. Lakeshore owners want to be able to fish, boat and swim in the water. So questions arise.

*Is the lake polluted?


*Are the fish safe to eat?

*Is there milfoil present?

*Is the water safe to swim in?

Finding these answers is simple. I direct my lakehome buyers to http://www.checkmylake.org/, a wonderful website devoted to MN lakeshore and recreation published by Conservation Minnesota. The site gives information great information on all of Minnesota’s lakes that have been tested for water quality.

A potential lakeshore buyer can find out whether the lake water is safe to swim in and whether the fish are safe to eat on a case by case basis. The lake search is very simple to use. Just put in the name and or county of the lake you are interested in and hit GO. I found that when I was looking for a big lake that overlaps into more than one county, like White Bear Lake, entering the lake name alone can be best because each lake is listed in only one county. (In the case of White Bear Lake, it listed as Washington County not Ramsey County.)

Pollution status is not the only feature of
checkmylake.org. The website is updated daily with water facts, lake news and beach reports. You can also sign a petition to protect our lakes, volunteer to monitor lake quality, or submit a story about your favorite lake.

Now if you are looking for a great place to fish on a Ramsey County Lake, check out these links:

Fishing Piers in Ramsey County:
  • Bald Eagle Lake
  • Beaver Lake
  • Lake Gervais
  • Island Lake
  • Lake Josephine
  • Keller Regional Park (Round Lake)
  • Long Lake
  • Lake McCarrons

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Essential Final Walkthrough Checklist for Homebuyers


With the tax credit timeline to close coming up quickly, there are going to be many closings on properties for first time homebuyers in the next few weeks. Before the closing, there is one essential step that must be taken with your REALTOR®: The Final WalkThrough.
A few days before closing, your agent will call to schedule the date and time of the final walk-through. Don’t get caught up with thinking, "This is great! I needed to check the paint color in the bedroom and measure the windows for blinds." That is not what the final walk-through is for. This is the last opportunity for you to see the home prior to closing. It is an appointment not to be missed or glossed over. It is a time to stay focused on your investment and examine the condition of the property one last time.
The purchase agreement that you signed in the state of Minnesota requires the seller to warrant that the central air conditioning, heating, plumbing and wiring systems on the property are in working order on the date of closing. It also insures the buyer the right to a "walk-through" review of the property prior to closing. This is not something to forego.
Awhile back there was a news report of a St Paul couple who made a huge mistake when they skipped the final walk through of their new home. They headed to their new home, keys in hand with all of their belongings in the moving van, directly to their new home after they signed their closing documents. Their intentions were to move right in and begin enjoying their dream home, Instead they arrived to find a nightmare.
Sometime since they first saw the home and the time they drove up with the keys, a pipe had burst and flooded the entire home. Water poured into the house for several days and they found a virtual indoor swimming pool instead of a home. This young couple had considered the final walk-through unnecessary since they had just seen the home a few weeks ago. “What could have changed?” was their misguided thinking.
Now they were the proud but frustrated owners of a huge mess. Although they may have legal remedies for having the home repaired, these buyers would have been in a much better position if they negotiated with the seller prior to signing the closing documents. Or in the case of this extreme damage, the buyers could have refused to sign and not purchase the home.
It is imperative that every buyer do a final walk-through on the property they intend to purchase as close to the closing as possible. I suggest to my clients that we schedule the walk-through an hour or two before the closing appointment. We meet at the home to review the condition of the property and then go directly to the closing. If any problems are noted, I immediately contact the seller's agent via cell phone so he/she will have time to discuss the situation with the seller and determine alternatives to address the issues.
The walk-through just prior to closing doesn't eliminate every surprise that a new buyer might face. But it significantly reduces the chance of closing on an unknown disaster. Here is a quick guide of some of the areas to consider during a final walk through:

Final Walk-Through Guide
Double Check the Paperwork**Are all work orders complete? Are you satisfied with the results?
Exterior Review**Check for any changes to exterior since purchase agreement.
Plumbing Review**Flush all toilets.
**Check all faucets for water pressure and temperature.
**Check operation of all appliances

Interior Rooms Review**Check for any changes to interior since purchase agreement.
Electrical Review
**Check all lights, outlets, bathroom fans and kitchen fans.

Furnace and Air Conditioning Review**Check operation of all systems.
Attic and Basement Review
**Check for changes in any stained, damp or wet areas.


The final walkthrough should be done with a complete checklist and organized plan. After a review of the home inside and out with a checklist will get you back to exciting part of that final walk-through...Will the couch look better here or there?

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rethink the Bridal Registry! Today's Bride & Groom Want a First HOME!


Wouldn’t it be great to take one of those little barcode readers beyond the department store towels, toasters and flat screens and head out to the nearest neighborhood of cozy bungalows and tag something that a new bride and groom really need, their first home? Imagine browsing the internet listings on realtor.com or dropping by a Sunday Open House and using that scanner to click on your favorite new home so you could receive the front door key just in time to be carried over the threshold. Only in a perfect world, right?

I know it is a crazy idea but brides and grooms getting married this year are going to face a tougher time finding a loan as first time buyers. Zero down loans have all but disappeared from the landscape and first time buyers will need cash in their pockets to put toward a new home. As mortgage programs continue to change and evolve, there is a reality to saving for that down payment. A forward thinking young couple might want to divert some of their wedding funds and gifts into an real estate investment in which they can begin their lives together.

In this changed real estate market, new home buyers NEED a down payment for a house. Not just a few bucks either. In most cases a buyer will require a minimum of 3-5% to put down. With an average Minnesota starter home in the $175,000 price range, today's brides and grooms will need to save at least $5,000-$10,000, plus closing costs.

All is not lost for first time buyers, but a little forward thinking is in order. There is a lot of money involved in most weddings; both on the party planning and the gift recipient side. A savvy bride and groom might be able to figure away to have the perfect wedding AND a dream home.

New Home Gift Registry Young couples getting married register for gifts to let their friends and family know exactly what they want and need. If you need a house, why not let your guests know? Maybe the insert in the wedding invitation should read:
“The couple is registered for a small number of necessities at Target, JC Penneys and Macys. If you would prefer not to shop, they are also saving for a down payment for a new home and would a appreciate monetary gift toward their dream.”
I don’t know what
Miss Manner’s would say about but I think a financial wiz like Suze Orman would applaud the idea.

Wedding Budget With the average dream wedding going for over $20,000, maybe a little arranging of the budget is in order. Those saved dollars from the dream wedding can go toward that dream home instead. Now, I am not suggesting 'cheaping out" on anything or everything, just take a look at where you can economize on your budget. Maybe you can go forego the fancy invitations or select a less expensive dress. Maybe that trip to Hawaii would be a better choice for your fifth anniversary and a road trip to Duluth, MN to create newlywed memories along the north shore of Lake Superior should be considered instead. Whether on wedding details, reception or the honeymoon, a 25% savings on the average wedding is $5000 cash that could go toward your dream home.


So brides and grooms start thinking about your future lives together and create a plan for your dream home. Though those scanners will not work outside of the a department store, I do! As a professional REALTOR, I have helped many young couples find the first home of their dreams. I know the north and east Twin Cities housing market and can help you spot a deal whether you are looking in Forest Lake or Andover. I will assist you in writing a fair offer and negotiate a deal so your dream can become a reality. And having your OWN agent doesn't cost you any additional fees--The seller pays my commission! Working with an agent to find your first home, takes the stress out of the home buying process so you can focus on making your wedding day special rather than moving in details too.
I
Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm

100 Questions ANSWERED for First Time Homebuyers!


First time buyers have many, many questions as they move through the process of buying their dream home. Some of these are general in nature and some are very specific to a property and location. While specific questions are best handled by a local REALTOR, there is an awesome resource for those general, "where do I start" questions.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development, better known as HUD, thought so too. HUD has prepared a list of 100 of the most commonly asked questions regarding real estate and the process of how to buy that first home.





What kinds of basic home buying questions are on the list? Here are a few sample questions:
  • HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M READY TO BUY A HOME?

  • WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN DECIDING ON A COMMUNITY?

  • IS AN OLDER HOME A BETTER VALUE THAN A NEW ONE?

  • HOW CAN I FIND INFORMATION ON THE PROPERTY TAX LIABILITY?

  • DO I NEED TO BE THERE FOR THE INSPECTION?

  • HOW DO I SELECT THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT?
The answers to these home buying questions (and 95 more), can be found at the HUD website. But while the HUD website is informative, it is only a website after all and will not have a specific answer to every question you might have. That’s where the experience of a professional REALTOR comes in. Feel free to email, call or text me at 651-336-7073 with any specific real estate question you might have.


Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday--Fast Hands!

Amazingly fast and expert on the job...That's how I would describe this chef at the Japanese restaurant Tappan Edo located in Epcot's World Showcase in Disneyworld. I tried to capture the moment but he was so quick, it was impossible to see his hands as they prepared our dinner. I am certain he spent many hours perfecting his craft before displaying his culinary and entertaining skills. Now as an north and east Twin Cities metro REALTOR®, I continually work hard to perfect my skills with the hopes of being amazingly fast at finding a home for a buyer (or finding a buyer for a home) but it is doubtful that I will ever move quite as fast as this!



Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Monday, May 10, 2010

White Bear Lake, MN Real Estate Market Statistics First Quarter 2010


Just about everyone who grew up in the Twin Cities north and east metro is familiar with the White Bear Lake community. Whether your memories are of passing the iconic gigantic snow white bear statue at Polar Chev, swimming at Bellaire beach or setting sail across White Bear Lake, everyone seems to know something about the community. But few know the legends that surround the lake and that Manitou Island is at the center of it all. The legend has been documented by several writers but the most notable was Mark Twain who wrote of the Indian warrior who killed the great monster of a polar bear to save himself and his lover in his book, “Life of the Mississippi”.

Legends aside, today the
White Bear Lake community is a vibrant area that is continually growing while preserving its rich heritage. There is no doubt that the shores of White Bear Lake are the most well known as one of the largest lakes in the north metro as it spreads from Ramsey County into Washington County. But there are two other lakes in the City of White Bear Lake: Birch Lake and Goose Lake as well as Bald Eagle Lake in White Bear Township. This town is the home of the White Bear Lake School District #624 and Century College while encompassing 11 square miles of land. Real estate opportunities include both historic homes and recently constructed residences. First time buyers, executive home buyers, retiring downsizers and luxury lakeshore buyers have a wide variety of options if the choose to call White Bear Lake home.

2009 Average Sales Price of all homes sold in White Bear Lake:


  • All Homes $186,735

  • Single Family Homes $192,195

  • Townhomes/Condos $150,823

2009 Average Cumulative Days on Market in White Bear Lake:

  • All Homes 146

  • Single Family Homes 133

  • Townhomes/Condos 153

Year End White Bear Lake residential real estate statistics for single family homes:

Under $200,000~ 51 Active Listings, 33 Pending Listings, 30 Sold Listings, 119 CDOM
$200,000-300,000~69 Active Listings, 31 Pending Listings, 14 Sold Listings, 135 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup 1 Active, 1 Pending, 1 Sold, 13 CDOM)
$300,000-$400,000 ~ 24 Active Listings, 7 Pending Listings, 2 Sold Listings, 217 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup 1 Active, 0 Pending, 1 Sold, 205 CDOM)
$400,000-$500,000 ~ 8 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings (Lakeshore Subgroup 4 Active, 1 Pending, 0 Sold)
$500,000-$1,000,000~ 29 Active Listings, 3 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings, 643 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup 16 Active, 0 Pending, 1 Sold, 436 CDOM)
$1,000,000 and Up ~12 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings, 357 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup 8 Active, 0 Pending, 1 Sold, 357 CDOM)

Year End White Bear Lake residential real estate statistics for townhomes and condos:
Under $200,000~ 53 Active Listings, 10 Pending Listings, 11 Sold Listings, 121 CDOM
$200,000-300,000~ 14 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings, 502 CDOM
$300,000-$400,000 ~ 8 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings
$400,000-$500,000 ~ 2 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings
$500,000-$1,000,000~ 5 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings

Lakeshore available in the White Bear Lake area
30 Active Listings

White Bear Lake lakeshore price range: $249,900-$3,200,000

4 Homes on Birch Lake
11 Homes on Bald Eagle Lake
15 Homes on White Bear Lake


For additional information on any current White Bear Lake real estate listing or for additional information on buying a home in White Bear Lake contact Teri Eckholm directly at 651-336-7073.
**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 1/1/10 through 3/31/10.

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day! --The Meaning Behind the Greeting



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A “Happy Mother’s Day” greeting has a deeper meaning than to just have a joyous day. Sharing these three words with your mom, grandma, stepmom or other person is a way to say, “thank you”, “I honor you”, “I respect you”, and “I love you.” It is about putting a mom’s happiness first for the day.

In the United States we have been honoring mothers for nearly a century on the second Sunday in May. Credit for the holiday is attributed to Anna Jarvis, who spend much of her lifetime promoting this special day to honor her own mother, Ann Jarvis. She was inspired by her mother’s dedication to her eleven children.

On the second anniversary of her mother’s death which fell on the second Sunday in May, Anna Jarvis worked with her mother’s church in West Virginia to create a celebration for all moms. She decorated the church with her mother’s favorite flowers, white carnations which were symbolic of her mother’s love; full of sweetness, purity and endurance. Carnations still are used today in Mother’s Day celebrations. Red carnations are symbolic of mom’s who are living and the white flowers memorialize the ones who have passed away.

This first Mother’s Day was such a success that support grew for Anna Jarvis. She recruited a team of supporters to write politicians, congressmen and ministers throughout the U.S. It was a century ago, in 1910, when West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother’s Day as a holiday. The following year almost every state observed the day to honor mothers as well. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the second Sunday in May as the holiday: Mother’s Day.

In the past 90+ years though the family structure may have changed, creating many more “mothering” people to be honored, one thing has stayed the same. This day is for remembering and honoring moms for all of the good you do and the love you share. Happy Mother’s Day!



Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)--Hobby Farm Heaven in Columbus Minnesota!


Living in the country in Anoka County Minnesota can be like a little slice of heaven especially in the springtime when everything is just starting to bloom again! This beautiful bright red barn is just one of the photos I took for my new listing in Columbus (just west of Forest Lake). 35 Acres to call your own near Carlos Avery Wildlife Management area. Want to see more photos? Take the tour by clicking HERE!





Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Considering a Move to a MN Hobby Farm or Acreage? Important Considerations for Homebuyers!

Over a decade ago out family came across a home being renovated on just under 3 acres in the country. It was a bit of a drive from North St. Paul and Maplewood, the quiet little suburbs where we had spent most of our lives. But there was something intriguing about the beautiful landscape with dozens of towering oaks and pines. We loved the idea that our two boys who were just starting school at the time could play hide and seek and ride their bikes right in our own yard. We made the leap without considering all of the differences that faces us switching from a city to a rural life.

Now as a REALTOR® in the north metro, I show homes to other families looking for the same escape from the city that we sought years ago. I notice that the same questions continue to come up whether considering a hobby farm in Columbus, an acreage lakeshore home in East Bethel, a horse property in Scandia or an executive estate in Ham Lake. Though the properties that are being considered are only 15-20 miles from the nightlife of downtown Minneapolis, there are significant differences in the way of life out in the country. Here are s
ome important questions and considerations that face my clients as they make their move from the city to the acreage in Anoka and Chisago Counties.

**Does the home have a Septic or Private Sewer system?

Most rural homes have a private septic system. Not all systems are created equal. They are designed for the specific property and size of the home. Even a new septic system can fail if not properly maintained. How do you know if the septic system is working? Is there a required inspection at the point of sale? Not all rural communities will require a septic inspection. Some like Wyoming and Columbus do for every sale, some like East Bethel only require if you are near a lake or river but others have no point of sale inspection requirement for the septic. To protect your interests when buying an acreage homes with a septic system, require the seller to supply a report of compliance from a certified septic inspector in your purchase agreement. If you have never lived on a home with a septic system, it is important to educate yourself on how to best maintain your system.
Additional information on Septic Systems.

**Does the home have access to city water or a private well? Do I need a water softener or other water treatment system?

Families new to the concept of well water have many questions regarding its safety. Traditionally, well water is tested for bacteria and nitrates at the time of sale by the seller. A lead test for well water is required only for FHA loans. If you want the well test for your property to include other contaminants, it must be specified in the purchase agreement. Annual water testing is recommended for all home owners with wells.
Additional information on Private Wells and how to locate your MN Unique Well Number.

One question often asked by home buyers considering a property with a private well is about water treatment options available. Many homes with private wells have water softeners to treat the water in the home. Some will go one step further and have a reverse osmosis water treatment system in the kitchens as a drinking water supply.

**Is there a natural gas supply to the home or will a propane tank be located on the property?


Often people looking at acreage will have questions about the huge propane fuel tank located near the home. These tanks are usually see only at gas stations where homeowners fill their small propane tanks for the weekend BBQ. In the country, the large tanks are in many backyards as the source of fuel to heat the home and run appliances. As a fuel source the differences are not noticeable. Propane is the least expensive cleanest fuel if a home does not have access to natural gas.


**Does the home have access to cable or high speed internet or will a satellite connection be required? Can I get high speed internet through the phone line? Does the property have cable access? What are the alternatives if DSL is not available through the phone or cable lines?

A decade ago, these were not questions that few people cared about in the rural communities. Today our interconnected world brings these questions to the forefront. Believe it or not, there are still many homes in Lino Lakes, Ham Lake, Forest Lake and East Bethel that do not have cable lines or high speed internet available through the phone lines. If your family lives on the internet and could not live without a high-speed connection, it is essential to find out whether a home has access. The alternative of direct satellite high speed internet is significantly more expensive.

**Is the road frontage paved? If the road is not paved, how often is it maintained by the city/county?


When our family first moved to our home to a rural area in MN, the road was not paved. We were nearly a mile down this soft, sandy dirt road. We moved in the late fall and had no idea of the extremely poor condition of the road in the April rain of spring. It was treacherous at times. The regrading was done by the city on a schedule so we would have a pot-holed road for days. Our road has been paved for years now but the memories of the rutted spring road still remain.

If you are considering acreage, remember many rural roads are not paved. Try to visit the property on several occasions and under differing conditions to determine the condition of any unpaved access roads. Talk to the city and county to understand the maintenance schedule for the road. Also be sure to ask if there are any plans to pave the road in the future and what would be assessed per property owner for the project.

**Is there wildlife?

Well maybe not lions and tigers, but we have sited bears and foxes seen near our home. We also have pheasant, hawks, bald eagles, raccoons, several varieties of squirrels and deer. A flock of a couple dozen wild turkeys have made their home in our neighborhood too. And an owl and a hawk both nest in trees in near our property. I rarely saw blue jays, cardinals or hummingbirds in the city, but in our rural home we see them on a daily basis. While exciting, the downside is sometimes the wildlife comes in. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have an occasional field mouse enter their home.

**Is hunting allowed?
In some rural areas hunting is still allowed depending on the amount of acreage, the development restrictions and city and county rules. It was a rude awakening for us to discover our neighbors were allowed to hunt. Imagine our shock that first deer opener when the hunters came out in blaze orange to hunt in the woods next to our home. The property owner, at our request, posted the land and the hunters left. The land has since been developed but it is something everyone moving should understand before buying any acreage home. Check with the city and county for all ordinances regarding firearms.

**Where are the schools?

The public school districts in rural communities can be vast. In Forest Lake District 831 in Minnesota for example, students come from communities as far west as Ham Lake, as far south as Lino Lakes, as far east as Scandia and as far north as Stacy! It you drive from the western border to the eastern border of the district, it takes almost 45 minutes, one way! This particular school district has only one high school so your children’s best friend from school could literally live almost an hour from your home. It pays to research the school district prior to any housing decisions.

Also school alternatives can be limited. Communities in the city have dozens of private and charter school options. These options are much lower in rural areas due to the smaller population.


**Can we have a bonfire and burn all this debris?
There are strict state and local restrictions regarding burning of construction debris and yard waste. There are restrictions on the size of the fire and what can be burned. Many construction materials cannot be burned because they release chemicals into the air that pose an environmental hazard. There are times of the year where burning is only allowed by permit and sometimes not at all. Before burning it is best to check the local restrictions as well as the DNR.

**Where do we shop? How far to the nearest corner store, gas station, shopping center and mall?
Depending on how often you like to shop, this may or may not be a big concern. But it is always nice to know how far you will have to go for a gallon of milk for breakfast or a gallon of gas for the lawn mower.

**How long does it take to cut the grass?

If your yard is over an acre with few trees, you might consider a lawn tractor. Many people on acreage only cut certain areas leaving the rest to grow to a natural prairie. Another consideration would be whether or not to install an irrigation system for the sod near the home.**Wow! There are a lot of trees! Do I have to worry about oak wilt?Oak wilt is a big concern in Anoka and Chisago counties. Many of the communities have information and programs to help protect and save the oak trees from this disease.
**What about emergencies? How far to the nearest hospital? Where is the nearest fire station? Who provides police protection?
No one wants to think about these things when moving but accidents and illnesses do happen. It was a long hour drive to Children’s Hospital in St. Paul when son fell and needed stitches in his upper lip. If the nearest fire station is staffed with volunteers and over five miles away, it will seem like a lifetime during those 5-10 minutes while you wait for the fire truck to show up to YOUR home. Many rural communities do not have police officers but are patrolled by the county sheriff’s department. Understand your options before an emergency occurs because it will likely take a bit longer if you are in a rural area.

With a little planning your move to a home on acreage can be a great one!





Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm

Blaine, MN Real Estate Market Statistics First Quarter 2010


The community of Blaine has continued to grow and expand in the north metro of the Twin Cities despite the economic downturn. Just drive down Highway 65 and see the Main Street (125th) overpass to get an idea of how the significant changes have affected the community. Though housing construction had slowed during 2008, it has not stopped and continues to be a force in 2009. New developments expand the housing base, especially in the townhome and lower level price points. Conveniently located along 35W and Highway 65 and connected by Highway 10 just north of the Twin Cities, Blaine is an attractive location for both business and residential development. The community is served by three school districts; Anoka Hennepin District #11, Centennial District #12, and Spring Lake Park District #16. Blaine is best known for the National Sports Center a sport and meeting facility that hosts an annual worldwide soccer event and Tournament Players Club golf course where the PGA Senior tour is played every summer.

Builders’ incentives to home buyers have required home sellers to be very competitive with housing prices making homes in the Blaine area extremely affordable. As I predicted, this affordability did continue throughout 2009. Home sold more quickly in 2009 and at better prices than in 2008
(Click Here to see stats for Blaine for the first quarter of 2008). The homes that are selling best in Blaine continue to be in the under $200,000 price point. There is currently only about 5 months of single family homes in prices under $200,000 in Blaine.

I would speculate that the tax credit incentive boosted the lower end sales considerably by enticing first time buyers into the market. Cumulative days of the market (CDOM) picked up a bit in the lower price points as compared with 2009 by a few days. It is good to note that there were a few more sales in the higher price points too. There is approximately 9 and 11 months of inventory of single family homes in the $200,000- $300,000 and $300,000-$400,000 ranges, respectively. It is also important to note that there are fewer new construction properties in the over $500,000 price range and that builders are starting to construct both townhomes AND single family homes under $200,000. Builders seem to finally realize that buyers are not buying as many “McMansions” in Blaine as they had in years past.

The townhome and condominium market is still selling slower than single family homes but inventory levels have come down considerably in the past year in Blaine. Existing townhome sellers must continue to be aggressive in their pricing to compete with builders if they want to sell their properties in this market. Townhomes under $200,000 have about an 16-18 month absorption rate but little is selling in higher price ranges so it is difficult to assess how long the current new townhome inventory will stay on the market.
2009 Average Sales Price of all homes sold in Blaine:
· All Homes $196,174
· Single Family Homes $216,254
· Townhomes/Condos $150,523

2009 Average Cumulative Days on Market in Blaine:

· All Homes 143
· Single Family Homes 140
· Townhomes/Condos 150

1st Quarter Blaine residential real estate statistics for single family homes:


Under $200,000~ 104 Active Listings, 53 Pending Listings, 59 Sold Listings, 115 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 4 Active, 2 Pending, 0 Sold)
$200,000-300,000~109 Active Listings, 33 Pending Listings, 34 Sold Listings, 167 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 35 Active, 15 Pending, 7 Sold, 113 CDOM)
$300,000-$400,000 ~40 Active Listings, 10 Pending Listings, 16 Sold Listings, 119 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 14 Active, 5 Pending, 7 Sold, 119 CDOM)
$400,000-$500,000 ~ 21 Active Listings, 3 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings, 319 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 4 Active, 1 Pending, 3 Sold, 378 CDOM)
$500,000-$1,000,000~ 20 Active Listings, 4 Pending Listings, 3 Sold Listings, 156 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 10 Active, 3 Pending, 1 Sold, 47 CDOM)
$1,000,000 and Up ~1 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings (No New Construction over $1,000,000)
1st Quarter Blaine residential real estate statistics for townhomes and condos:

Under $200,000~ 115 Active Listings, 40 Pending Listings, 20 Sold Listings, 95 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 14 Active, 6 Pending, 7 Sold, 40 CDOM)
$200,000-300,000~18 Active Listings, 7 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup 10 Active, 6 Pending, 0 Sold)
$300,000-$400,000 ~ 4 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 2 Sold Listings, 193 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 3 Active, 1 Pending, 1 Sold, 151 CDOM)
$400,000-$500,000 ~4 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup 1 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)
$500,000-$1,000,000~ 5 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup 1 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)
For additional information on any current Blaine real estate listing or for additional information on buying a home in Blaine contact Teri Eckholm directly at 651-336-7073.
**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 1/1/10 through 3/31/10.




Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm